Our aboriginal cruise was arranged by Ben Wakashige, the New Mexico accompaniment librarian, as allotment of a planning appointment in apprehension of implementing the foundation’s admission affairs for accessible libraries. (For added admonition on the U.S. Library Program, visit http://www.gatesfoundation.org.) During the 2 canicule of affairs and armpit visits, we listened and we learned. Of all the admonition exchanged, the best important allotment was and still is this fact: Affiliated libraries serve a basal role for their communities and patrons, and in adjustment for a affairs from a foundation to accomplish a valuable impact, the architecture for application and implementing grants charge be developed with affiliated input.
Our antecedent acquaintance led to a yearlong action of affiliated alert and learning, all-encompassing meetings with affiliated elders and children, association and library leaders, and other key players in the New Mexico library association who were carefully familiar with the accurate needs of these tribes. During the year we developed our admission program, we additionally met with American Indian library leaders and others alive with tribes and technology to get admonition and to accretion perspective on how best to architecture our admission program. Affiliated leaders batten of their admiration to use technology to absorption accouchement in their Native language, and artists declared creating art with agenda accoutrement and business their assignment through the Internet. Educators bidding absorption in culturally appropriate software and online resources. Accepting capital the befalling for quality educational adventures after accepting to leave their reservations. Patrons hoped for hands-on training at a able pace. All this assignment and the contributions of abounding choir resulted in the enactment of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Native American Admission to Technology Program (NAATP). We achievement this affairs is as abundant endemic as it is ours.
Understanding the Need New Mexico is home to 19 Pueblos and two Apache reservations. In addition, the northwest corner of the accompaniment houses added than one-third of the Navajo Nation. As we traveled afar amid affiliated library sites, we were able to adore the amplitude of country that makes the American Southwest so spectacular. Already outside Albuquerque, ability lines, buzz lines, and corpuscle architecture accomplished to block our view. They additionally accomplished to accommodate casework on Native lands.
Many anxiety abridgement the basal infrastructure—roads, power, water, and communications—that we take for accepted in burghal areas. According to the 1990 Census of Population, aloof 53 percent of Native households on catch and assurance acreage have telephones, compared to 94 percent for all American homes. And while many Americans accede a home computer a necessity, aloof 15 percent of all Native households acquire a computer and alone 10 percent acquire Internet access.
Many affiliated schools have computers, but they are few in cardinal and acquire bound Internet connectivity. Generally because of accountability reasons, associates of the association not affiliated with the schools cannot use the computers, and alike accepting acquire restricted use during academy hours.
By contrast, a White House Address blue-blooded Admonition Technology Research and Development: Information Technology (January 21, 2000) shows about bisected of all American households now use the Internet, with added than 700 new households actuality connected every hour. Added than bisected of U.S. classrooms are affiliated to the Internet today, and 62 percent of U.S. accouchement in the 8-to-15-year-old age group are now activity online.
“Tribes are not staying beside of the abstruse revolution,” says Alison Freese, affiliated libraries adviser for the New Mexico Accompaniment Library. “Computers—and libraries for that matter—are not acceptable Native American concepts. In addition, it’s adamantine to accomplish a case for libraries and accessible admission to accretion when issues such as healthcare, housing, biologic and booze counseling, alike telephone connectivity are pressing.”
But increasingly, these libraries are acceptable key admonition centers for tribes, alms book collections and casework that abutment the different admonition needs of their communities. In addition, abounding of the antecedence issues for tribes are dealt with at affiliated libraries. Besides blockage out books, library workers often act as counselors, day-care providers, and admission writers. Abounding host programs for the aged and action developed apprenticeship courses. They accede to break open backward or on weekends if accession requests their help. The able commitment of affiliated librarians to their association makes libraries ideal locales for accouterment accessible admission to computers.
Amazingly, these libraries accommodate basal casework to communities on cartel budgets. The tribal librarians that we’ve met acquire formed for years accouterment casework with added assurance than resources. We’ve visited affiliated libraries located in acceptable adobe structures, old Bureau of Indian Affairs buildings, and carriageable units. Invariably, the library allowance or architecture is filled to accommodation with collections and assemblage jockeying for space. Affiliated libraries are blithely busy with acceptable pottery, weavings, and paintings. Conversations, alternate with abundant laughter, booty abode in both English and Native languages. Sometimes artisans will accompany adornment to sell. On a absolutely acceptable day, accession will accompany red or blooming chile and aliment or tortillas to share.
These libraries adore varying degrees of abutment from affiliated administrations. While the all-inclusive majority of affiliated councils admit that affiliated libraries are important for the community, not all are able to accommodate allotment at levels able to support and sustain a affection library and computer program. Alike amid those isolated Native American communities that acquire fabricated cogent advance toward self-sufficiency, alone bound assets are accessible for library and admonition account support. An inconsistent acquirement antecedent generally leads to position elimination, aerial about-face of underpaid staff, and grant-driven projects that cannot be abiding already the aboriginal admission monies run out. Accompaniment Senator Leonard Tsosie has been acknowledged in casual legislation for abiding allotment for the New Mexico Accompaniment Library to aggrandize services to tribes. Currently, 47 sites and their staffs are accurate with an annual account of $270,000.
“A annual account of $270,000 alone goes so far,” says Freese. “We’re accepting there, but best of our sites had alone one computer and a dial-up connection. We knew the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation could accommodate so abundant more.”
All of the affiliated librarians we met with acutely declared they would like to accommodate their assemblage with accessible admission to computers and the Internet. None was annoyed with the accepted akin of service. Few libraries can allow advanced computers. Instead, abounding were application donated, pre-owned computers with little or outdated software and declining components. No library had a committed Internet connection, and abounding appear acutely apathetic speeds and alone admission with their dial-up accounts.
“At the Jemez Community Library, we had one computer [with Internet access],” says Tamara Sandia, library abettor at the Jemez Pueblo Association Library. “It was common to see 10 or added accouchement awash about it at a time.”
NAATP’s Goals and Mission The Native American Access to Technology Affairs is advised accurately to empower Native communities through added admission to agenda admonition resources. The program aims to assignment with affiliated leaders, librarians, and educators to preserve bounded ability and ancestry and to accommodate opportunities for technology training through admission to computers and the Internet.
Three above apparatus benefit tribes: equipment, training, and abstruse support. Anniversary association is eligible to acquire amid two and four computers, a black-and-white laser printer, and Internet connectivity equipment. The computers appear with pre-loaded software called based on user interviews. In addition, tribes can request added equipment, such as a scanner, agenda camera, angle microphone, blush printer, and projector. Anniversary association that’s awarded a admission will also acquire a appointment from foundation agents for accession and training. On-site training focuses on both applications and systems administration, and includes classes for both agents and association members. Finally, anniversary armpit receives abstruse abutment for the accepted accessories for 3 years through a toll-free number. Abstruse abutment will abetment tribes with a advanced array of problems from acclimation a backup for a bootless arrangement interface agenda to explaining templates in Microsoft Word. (See sidebar for specific admonition on accouterments and software provided.)
NAATP began installing PCs in New Mexico in bounce 2000. To date, 20 tribes acquire accustomed equipment and training. Training for the 110 capacity of the Navajo Nation was completed in June 2001. Accession and training for tribes in Arizona, Colorado, and Utah began in August. An added admission appearance for Arizona, Colorado, Utah, and New Mexico tribes will activate in the bounce of 2002 and will include a aggressive admission annular for a agreeable server and/or training lab. Additional allotment will additionally be accessible for nonprofit abutment organizations that assignment with tribes for cultural and accent canning and technology training.
To auspiciously administer for a admission through NAATP, sites acquire to authenticate affiliated abutment for the grant. We ask affiliated administration to verify that the computers will be available to all association members, that the technology account for the association will not be reduced, and that the association will accomplish its best accomplishment to accumulate the computers functioning. We additionally accomplish ourselves accessible to altercate the affairs at affiliated board meetings. Through these discussions, we’ve grown to acknowledge the circuitous issues that affiliated leaders accost back making decisions about amalgam technology into their communities.
Like abounding others in Native American communities, library agents at Jemez are acutely acquainted of the need to aing the “digital divide”—the growing amusing and bread-and-er gap between those with admission to computers and technology and those without—between themselves and the above U.S. population. “Computers—that’s breadth the apple is going. We don’t appetite to acquire our kids larboard behind,” says Sandia.
The Appulse of the Grants Jean Whitehorse, a training and beat coordinator for the New Mexico Accompaniment Library, accepted to be invaluable in allowance us abode issues that led to our believability and accepting in Native communities. She told us about the accent of diversity in our admission and staff. “People appetite to see their own bodies understanding progress,” says Whitehorse. “If we can see our own bodies arrive something new, we are added acceptable to acquire it and accept how it can benefit us.” So our foundation agents now includes Native trainers. In addition, we developed an intern affairs with New Mexico affiliated colleges that taught accepting to serve as on-call training and abstruse advice for tribes for 1 year.
Initially our affairs faced questions about the abrogating aspects of Internet connectivity. “It was my job to go into these communities and explain to the elders and officials the allowances of accepting computers and an Internet connection,” explains Whitehorse. “Many of them acquainted bringing computers would booty children’s absorption abroad from their association traditions and families and would expose them to bad things.”
Whitehorse says she explained to the elders that there are acceptable things and bad things about everything—including computers. “But if you use the computer in the appropriate way it can be a great tool.” She additionally explained that there would be absolute rules and guidelines for use so accouchement couldn’t appearance inappropriate material.
Still abounding balked, “We can’t apprehend and write; how are we activity to use computers?” Whitehorse told them that the computers could advice affiliated articulacy programs, and she reminded them that abounding Native American elders action in the casinos. “I told them if you can use those machines at the casino, you can use the Internet—and you won’t lose any money, either,” she says with a laugh.
On-site training has proved to be a actual admired aspect of our grant. All New Mexico affiliated libraries accustomed a anniversary of training. Because we accept computer users apprentice best back they acquire their easily on a keyboard, trainers catholic with a mobile training lab so that up to 10 bodies could alternation at a time. In the morning, agents accustomed accelerated training on applications so that they could assist assemblage with office, reference, and art programs. In the afternoon, community associates were arrive for applications training. We’ve formed with students, elders, affiliated administrators, teachers, and abounding added groups all interested in acquirements added about computers.
Joe Sullivan and Jackie Yabeny were two of the foundation’s trainers who were beatific to New Mexico. “Most of the bodies we accomplished were absolute beginners,” says Sullivan. “In the communities that had computers, bodies were disturbing to use them.” Sullivan says he witnessed abounding “Aha!” moments back users assuredly realized what assertive commands or functions were for.
Yabeny remembers teaching a adolescent woman who became bathetic as she was acquirements Microsoft Word. “She was aloof so blessed to be acquirements new things.”
Having spent the aftermost year training certified librarians abroad in the country, Sullivan was struck by how alert his New Mexico admirers was. “When I was alive with the librarians [in added states], we’d babble and antic about as the training was actuality conducted. At the anxiety anybody was so quiet and focused—sometimes it was adamantine for me to acquaint if they accepted me—but they did. I learned a lot about the ability of listening.”
For abounding communities, these training sessions offered a different befalling to altercate what they could do with computers. Account included convalescent association beat efforts by creating newsletters, creating artisan cooperatives, architecture Web sites or online “trading posts” to advertise art, creating academy and scholarship chase classes for kids, application Excel to do affiliated budgets, and designing card to use back applying for government grants. In one area, staff from a cultural centermost planned to assignment with accepting to almanac the stories of veterans who had served with the U.S. military.
Of course, accouchement had added account about how to best put the computers to use. “At the Zuni Pueblo Library, I bethink the kids were aloof exploding. They aloof went to town application the amateur and art programs,” Sullivan recalls. Back alive with students, Sullivan accomplished them how to use added computer tools, including a agenda camera, scanner, and cartoon programs. Abounding of them went home from an afternoon affair with busy cards and artwork to appearance their families.
As affiliated libraries slowly accept technology, both assemblage and agents become aflame by the possibilities for learning. Sherry Aragon, an artisan from Acoma Pueblo, remembers being recruited to assignment in the Acoma Acquirements Center. “I wasn’t alive at the time, and the library asked me if I’d like a job,” says Aragon. “They told me, ‘We’re activity to about-face this library into a computer center.’ I said ‘Are you abiding you appetite me? I can almost do a VCR!'”
Through AmeriCorps, the library enrolled her in computer classes in Albuquerque in 1999 and she was an alive actor in the NAATP training aftermost year. Now Aragon is teaching computer classes to adults and seniors at the Acoma Acquirements Center. She affairs to appear New Mexico Accompaniment University and abstraction library science because she ethics actuality able to accommodate her bodies with admonition they need.
Initially, she says, kids seemed to be the alone ones absorbed in application the library. Intrigued by the computers, the kids came in to comedy amateur and cream the Internet, but their interests anon broadcast to account groups, adventure times, and art classes. Aragon says adults would attending in the aperture and anticipate the library was just for adolescent people. Then the library agents started giving abroad chargeless bookmarks to kids who brought in their parents. Parents got a bout and explanation of casework and could assurance up for chargeless computer classes. Now, Aragon says, adults consistently stop in to attending up admonition on the Internet, write letters, or do their resumes. In the aftermost 3 months developed computer use has added by 45 percent. “As added adults apprehend the amount of the computers they acquaint accompany and relatives. It’s acceptable for them and they reinforce the accent of application the library and compassionate technology in their kids.”
With the Gates Foundation accouterment an admission in technology for tribes, the New Mexico Accompaniment Library has been able to about-face its allotment to library services’ needs. It has been able to accommodate tribes with banknote grants for accumulating development, workshops, conferences, and appropriate projects. In addition, the Accompaniment Library has been active in developing and implementing an online accessible admission catalog activity for all New Mexico affiliated libraries—the Athena project. This project has abundantly added the casework that libraries can accommodate for their assemblage and has added the libraries’ standings in their communities. “As abounding affiliated libraries acquire been tracking books by duke or not at all, accepting Athena [the OPAC] was absolutely a assurance that they were acceptable a real library,” says Freese.
Jean Whitehorse currently conducts Internet training at Navajo affiliate houses and libraries throughout the state, assuming adults and elders breadth to acquisition and how to use important admonition on capacity alignment from diabetes affliction to veterans’ benefits. Says Whitehorse, “When bodies can acquisition admonition for themselves—and don’t acquire to biking hundreds of afar to do it—they feel empowered.”
Evaluations Are Underway In the bosom of our fall 2000 installation, the foundation apprenticed with the Daniel J. Evans School of Accessible Affairs at the University of Washington to undertake a formal appraisal of the NAATP affairs efforts. The accepted purpose of the evaluation action is to appraise whether the goals and objectives of the affairs are actuality met and to advance admonition aggregate from the evaluations to improve the affairs as it is actuality implemented. The academy acclimated a aggregate of ascertainment visits and interviews with affiliated agents and associates to create a basic report. A added abundant appraisal is underway, including in-person interviews with affiliated elders, patrons, and librarians at all NAATP sites.
The allegation from the preliminary address appearance that the NAATP is well-received in Pueblo communities and is accepting a absolute appulse on library use, literacy, and computer proficiency. Because of a and the accompaniment of bread-and-er development on best reservations, the abounding abeyant of the NAATP will booty best to apprehend than similar programs in added burghal areas. At the aforementioned time, the admeasurement of change for these communities promises to be added cogent than in added genitalia of the country.
For best Native acreage in New Mexico, Internet connectivity is still the better obstacle to realizing their new abstruse potential. Best communities are still bound to a distinct dial-up connection, which agency they can’t admission abounding Internet sites. Because best tribes are alien with dispersed populations, it’s not cost-effective for buzz companies to advance in nut wire or cilia lines to affix them.
The NAATP, in conjunction with OnSat Arrangement Telecommunications, is currently installing a two-way accessory bureaucracy that will ensure bi-directional, accelerated Internet access to these alien communities that acquire been awarded a specific NAATP grant. (Choosing a accessory Internet advantage provided abounding challenges. Back evaluating accessory providers, we formed to acquisition a abiding belvedere that would offer aerial achievement at a reasonable cost.) Now, we’re alive with organizations that accommodate agreeable to advantage the Internet connectivity for maximum benefit.
Although all NAATP grant sites acquire admission to the foundation’s abstruse abutment line, the report shows there is a charge for added on-site abstruse help. Several tribes acquire IT agents alive in affiliated authoritative offices that advice out from time to time, but constant abutment is needed.
Possibly the best account is that the accommodating efforts of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation staff, the New Mexico Accompaniment Library, and the assorted admission sites acquire led to aerial levels of charge and achievement for all individuals involved. New Mexico accompaniment librarian Ben Wakashige believes the foundation grants will admission the afterimage of this important affiliated resource. “I think the Gates’ beverage enabled us to cull advanced actual quickly. Breadth there was one [computer], there’s now five,” says Wakashige. “And Gates gives us an befalling to be the admonition centermost for the community.”
Others agree. “This working with and for anniversary added is absolutely a allotment of the Native American tradition,” says Alison Freese, the affiliated libraries consultant. “It’s what makes us strong—we attending advanced to accomplishment the allowances of our affiliated collaboration.”
The Program’s Next Steps Currently the foundation does not acquire any affairs to aggrandize NAATP above the Four Corners breadth of Utah, Colorado, Arizona, and New Mexico. We acquire abstruse that anniversary tribe needs to be formed with alone and cooperatively over an extended aeon of time for anniversary ancillary to feel that the accord is a success. We apperceive that we still acquire added to learn, so we are apperception on the assignment advanced of us afore we adjudge whether to aggrandize our scope. We do know that the Gates Foundation and those of us who assignment for it acquire benefitted abundantly from this program. Our angle and compassionate has broadened and deepened. We accept the best way we can account the alarming efforts of the affiliated libraries and librarians we acquire met is to allotment our story and to abutment their work.
For added admonition on these libraries and how you can abutment the Accompany of New Mexico Tribal Libraries, amuse appointment http://www.stlib.state.nm.us.
The computers accepted by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation are custom-built by Gateway from blueprint we’ve provided. Accepted accouterments apparatus include:
Operating System — Windows NT 4.0 Workstation Processor — 1.4 GHz Pentium 4 Memory — 256 MB RDRAM Adamantine Drive — 40 GB Video Agenda — NVidia GeForce 2 MX Sound Agenda — Creative CT 4870 Sound Blaster Live! NIC — 3COM PCI 10/100 (3COM Tornado) CD-ROM — 20/48X DVD-ROM Floppy Drive — 1.44 MB Standard Floppy Drive and Iomega Zip 250 Internal Drive
In addition, tribes are acceptable to administer for the afterward components:
Black-and-White Laser Printer — HP 4100TN Blush Bubble Jet Printer — HP 932C Projector — View Sonic PJ875 Agenda Camera — Sony Mavica MVC FD92 Angle Microphone — Labtec 8550 Scanner — Image Deck Stand-Alone Scanner
All computers are delivered with abundant software for assembly and accounting work, reference, art and culture, and children. These include: Microsoft (MS) FrontPage; MS Publisher; MS Image Composer; MS Appointment including Access, Excel, PowerPoint, and Word; Encarta Encyclopedia; Encarta Africana; Apple Atlas; Apple English Dictionary; Internet Explorer; Adobe Photoshop; Adobe Illustrator; GIF Animator; Real Networks RealPlayer and RealProducer; Arthur’s Brainteasers; Arthur’s Math Carnival; Arthur’s Account Roundup; Creative Writer; The Magic Bus Series; and Success Builder Algebra I and Geometry. In addition, all sites are accepted a year’s cable to SoftLine’s Ethnic NewsWatch, an online, full-text database that includes Native publications.
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